Newspaper retail round up

A round up of the retail stories in the papers this week… Tesco, Best Buy, Apple, M&S, Argos

For sale – and think of the Clubcard points

It’s expanded from food, to non-food, to insurance, to banking. Now Tesco is planning on building houses. The supermarket plans to develop four mini-villages in the South East, as well as other “schemes” in Ipswich and northeast England.

From The Times

Best Buy out to change UK retail

Details of the arrival of Best Buy into the UK market, which will “strike fear into the likes of Dixons, Curry’s and even Tesco”.

Apple’s second city store

Apple is finalising plans to open a new flagship store in central London. Expected to open in the next few months, the store will be located in the heart of Covent Garden.

This isn’t just a chief exec…

New M&S chief exec. Marc Bolland, the former Morrison’s boss, starts next week and his in-tray will be piled with “banana skins and challenges”. Reviving the food side of the business is possibly top, and doing so would, in part, justify his £15m salary.

From The Telegraph

Glanbia co-operative to vote on dairy deal

Next month, 8,000 dairy farmers from The Glanbia Co-operative Society will gather in Ireland to vote on whether to become the owners of Glanbia, the republic’s largest milk processor.

Rising City Clamour for radical takeover or sell-off action

A poor performance by Home Retail is expected this week and speculation suggests outcomes could include the sale or break up of Homebase and the possible sale of Argos to a supermarket.

Strong year puts Hornby pay-out back on the rails

Shares in Horny have rallied well after the maker of toy train sets said it would return to paying a dividend and that full year profits would be above expectations. A new train set for the film Toy Story 3 is expected to lead to “bumper sales”.

From the Financial Times

Wolfson: I’ll stay at Next

Simon Wolfson, Next’s chief exec, has said he’ll stay with the retailer, even if he becomes a working Tory peer.

Argos set to return £100m

Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Homebase, is expected to announce plans this week to return £100m to shareholders through share buybacks.

Fashion Group’s £200m windfall

The owners of Peacock’s are eyeing a £200m “windfall” from a sale or refinancing of the chain. Peacocks is planning to add 50 new stores over the next two years, taking the total number of retail outlets to 574.

Farepak’s directors pay up £4m

Good news for customers of the collapsed Christmas savings club, Farepak: they are to be paid £4m in compensation direct from directors’ own wallets. However, that’s still only a tenth of the total amount lost by the 150,000 customers.

All change at Republic as retailer eyes sale

The fast-growing fashion chain, Republic, has been put up for sale through Rothschild, the investment bank. A sale could generate a huge paper profit for Republic’s founders.

From The Sunday Times

Homebase to post £40m profit, but Argos drags group down
Analysts are predicting a good news and bad news story for Home Retail this week when its financial results are published. Homebase is set to record “sparkling” results, only to be dragged down by a “disastrous” performance by Argos.

Liberty to freeze basic salaries of directors for second year

Liberty International, the property group behind the Lakeside megamall in Essex, is to freeze the basic salaries of its senior directors again this year.

From The Independent on Sunday

Tesco goes into battle over release of Avatar

Blockbuster movie Avatar was released on DVD on the High Street in HMV today. However, in a bid to wrest sales from the high street, Tesco is set to open 180 stores selling the film at midnight to coincide with the official release date tomorrow.

From The Mail on Sunday

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